Fresh, Young and Cheeky: HYUNDAI

Hyundai's smallest family member, the cute and surprisingly solid i 10.

Hyundai’s smallest family member, the cute and surprisingly solid i 10.

So Cute … you almost want to cuddle it

It has been a bestseller right from the start, Hyundai’s cheeky little i 10. It is solid, it is well-made, it is stylish and it has features that one does not usually expect to find in the A segment. In a word, it is fun to drive, definitely as a four-cylinder with 87 PS. Even its sound sounds okay. We have heard worse in bigger engines.

“Do schebbert nix. Wie machetd die des?” This is Swabian for: “Nothing clatters, How do they do it?” – words forever famous since they were first uttered by the somewhat flabberghasted VW boss Martin Winderkorn when closely inspecting the i 30 during IAA in Frankfurt. Although spoken almoust four year ago these words have become a classic and are still ringing in our ears. And just as Winterkorn must have felt surprised at the quality of the Korean cars, the little i 10 won us iover with its cuteness and solid stance.

We took pleasure in driving the agile 3.67 meter long five-door Hyundai in beautiful Rheingau. What more does one need for the town? Agreed we still prefer the version with more horsepower (87 hp, 64 kW) to the three-cylinder i 10 (67 hp, 48.5 kw). And in spite of its belonging to the A segment the i 10 has features from the B and C segment, like a heated steering wheel and automatic air conditioning. The 3-cylinder can also be had with liquid gas. The i 10 starts at 9.950 Euro. It can be ordered in three different styles (Classic, Trend, Style).

Successful hatching of the Hyundai brand.

Successful hatching of the Hyundai brand.

There is no doubt, Hyundai has left behind its status as ugly duckling. Who would have thought that the ugly duckling Atos from 1997 would evolve into a swan in the shape of Instead, it has become a very successful brand of its own competing with the “establishment”. The OEM does a lot to be present in the media, where it pursues its appearance as a young and somewhat freaky brand. Hyundai is therefore actively involved in social media like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. One extremely successful example has been the little Hyundai video that in ten minutes quoted no less than 70 blockbuster films. Within two weeks the video had almost 250,500 clicks on YouTube.

Today the once sneered at car manufacturer has ten model ranges with fifteen derivatives, all of which sell well. From the small i 10 to the Grand Santa Fe, from conventional to latest technology like LPG and fuel cell, Hyundai has it all. With Thomas Bürkle and Peer Schreyer the Koreans have two renowned designers to rely on for a fresh and imaginative design.

Hyundai’s worldwide success stems from a bundle of factors such as design, a convincing value for money ratio, reliability, five years guarantee irrespective of the mileage. Speed is another one of Hyundai’s codes of success. The developing time for a new model has been cut in half from 48 down to 24 months. And it is to be further shortened, down to 14 months.

How better to catch emotions than with football. To further broadcast the brand, Hyundai is acting as main sponsor of FIFA and UEFA football events. During the last European Football Championship the OEM managed to raise its brand awareness from 29 to 49 per cent. Apart from acting as sponsor Hyundai actively takes part in motorsports. Thus, the Koreans will soon start during the 24 hours on the Nürburgring. The car manufacturer opened its testing ground next to the race track. Which goes to show that motorsports is a great help when it comes to developing reliable street cars that carry future technologies.

Susanne Roeder

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